Even if you believe your vision good, it is best to have your eyes examined once a year by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. Interestingly enough, even though an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor and an optometrist is not, the difference between a standard eye exam and a medical eye exam is not who performs it, but how an insurance company defines the visit:
Routine Eye Exam
A routine eye exam is used to diagnose general vision problems such as astigmatism or nearsightedness. At your eye exam, you will first answer a series of questions posed by your doctor, including if you’ve had any vision problems, what they entail, and how long you have had them. Your doctor will review your medical and vision history and inquire about medications you may be taking. You will then be asked to look at an eye chart and read a series of random letters. Your doctor will try out different lenses to check your visual acuity and determine if you need corrective lenses. Your peripheral vision, 3D vision, eye muscles, and pupils will also be examined. If needed, your doctor will give you a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. This visit would be considered a routine eye exam, and in most instances is only covered under vision insurance, not medical insurance.
Medical Eye Exam
A medical eye exam is used to evaluate a medical condition or symptoms that cannot be corrected by an eyeglass prescription. While this exam will, in many ways, be similar to a routine eye exam, how an insurance company classifies the exam depends upon the reason for the visit and the diagnosis. Diseases and disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other medical issues, such as conjunctivitis or an infection are typically covered under medical insurance as opposed to vision insurance. Some medical insurance plans do cover routine eye exams, but many do not, so check your policy to find out.
Eye Care Associates of St. Louis provides routine and medical eye exams by our highly trained and dedicated staff of optometrists and ophthalmologists. Dr. Janae Kadlec and Dr. Todd LaPoint are experts at fitting contact lens, including specialty lenses, and remind all contact lens wearers to have their eyes examined annually. And if you’re tired being dependent on glasses and contact lenses, you may want to consider refractive surgery with LASIK specialist, Dr. Stephen Wexler. Whatever your eye health and vision needs, give us a call at (314) 863-4200 with any questions or to make an appointment.